Category Power Rankings: Week 5

Five weeks in and a lot has happened. We have had some rookie sensations, MVP caliber performances, super dud pitching, and everything in between.

We have enough of a sample size of data to be able to make some moves. Where we can begin looking to sell high or buy low. We may even find some injured list stash players with upside to help you down the road. 

That being said, let’s see where we stand this week…

 

Batting Average (AVG)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
2 Mike Trout LAA OF
3 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
4 Christian Yelich MIL OF +1
5 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B -1
6 Mookie Betts BOS OF
7 Nolan Arenado COL 3B +1
8 Jean Segura PHI SS +1
9 Michael Brantley HOU OF +2
10 Joey Votto CIN 1B -3
11 Justin Turner LAD 3B -1
12 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B +1
13 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF -1
14 Charlie Blackmon COL OF
15 Alex Bregman HOU 3B/SS
16 Whit Merrifield KC 1B/2B/OF +1
17 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS -1
18 David Peralta ARZ OF +3
19 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
20 Bryce Harper PHI OF
21 Robinson Cano NYM 1B/2B +1
22 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF -4
23 Elvis Andrus TEX SS
24 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
25 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF Unranked

Off the List: Dee Gordon

David Peralta is continuing to show that he will be a very good source of AVG, albeit with a .405 BABIP right now. The past two seasons he has posted a BABIP around .330 and has put up a .293 AVG in each of the past two campaigns, therefore there really should not be any doubt in his ability to keep it up to an extent.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B
2 Jorge Polanco MIN SS
3 Nick Markakis ATL OF
4 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF Unranked
5 Eduardo Escobar ARZ 3B/SS Unranked
6 Jesse Winker CIN OF +4
7 Dwight Smith Jr. BAL OF Unranked
8 David Fletcher LAA 2B/3B/OF Unranked
9 Adam Frazier PIT 2B/OF
10 Renato Nunez BAL 3B Unranked

Off the List: Alex Gordon (ownership), Jason Heyward (ownership), Ben Zobrist, Manuel Margot, Avisail Garcia

The fact that Alex Gordon and Jason Heyward‘s ownership have gotten too high for this list but Jorge Polanco is still widely unowned is just silly. Polanco is sadly owned in only 53% of Yahoo! leagues. He is shaping up to be a very legit hitter who has increased his launch angle while hitting the ball harder than ever before. This guy could easily be a top-10 SS by season’s end.

 

Runs (R)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Christian Yelich MIL OF +2
2 Mookie Betts BOS OF -1
3 Mike Trout LAA OF -1
4 George Springer HOU OF
5 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
6 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
7 Charlie Blackmon COL OF
8 Bryce Harper PHI OF
9 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF
10 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
11 Andrew McCutchen PHI OF
12 Jean Segura PHI SS
13 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF +2
14 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF
15 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B +3
16 Matt Carpenter STL 1B/2B/3B
17 Tommy Pham TB OF
18 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B +1
19 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B +2
20 Juan Soto WSH OF
21 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B Unranked
22 Fernando Tatis Jr. SD SS Unranked
23 Mitch Haniger SEA OF +1
24 Adam Eaton WSH OF -1
25 Alex Bregman HOU 3B/SS -3

Off the List: Aaron Judge (injury), Andrew Benintendi

This time last week, the Padres inserted their franchise shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. into the leadoff spot and he has flourished. Tatis is an excellent candidate for a leadoff guy and it was only a matter of time before he hit his way to the top. The 20-year old has great on-base skills and is the kind of aggressive base runner you want hitting atop your lineup.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jorge Polanco MIN SS +1
2 Brett Gardner NYY OF -1
3 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF +1
4 Dwight Smith Jr. BAL OF +4
5 Nick Markakis ATL OF Unranked
6 Kevin Kiermaier TB OF
7 Leury Garcia CHW OF +3
8 Brandon Lowe TB 2B/OF Unranked
9 Adam Frazier PIT 2B/OF -4
10 Randal Grichuk TOR OF Unranked

Off the List: Alex Gordon (ownership), Jason Heyward (ownership), Jay Bruce

Dwight Smith Jr. keeps forcing his way into relevancy with his play here in the early going. He is doing a little bit of everything right now and is certainly with a look especially in five outfielder roto leagues.

 

Home Runs (HR)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Khris Davis OAK OF
2 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
3 Nolan Arenado COL 3B +1
4 Joey Gallo TEX 1B/OF +2
5 Mike Trout LAA OF
6 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF +1
7 Bryce Harper PHI OF +1
8 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B +1
9 Christian Yelich MIL OF +1
10 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B/OF +1
11 Edwin Encarnacion SEA 1B +2
12 Nelson Cruz MIN UT
13 Manny Machado SD 3B/SS +1
14 Javier Baez CHC 2B/3B/SS +1
15 Trevor Story COL SS +1
16 Matt Chapman OAK 3B +2
17 Marcell Ozuna STL OF +3
18 Mike Moustakas MIL 2B/3B -1
19 Pete Alonso NYM 1B +2
20 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF +2
21 Mookie Betts BOS OF -2
22 Gary Sanchez NYY C +1
23 Charlie Blackmon COL OF Unranked
24 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B +1
25 George Springer HOU OF Unranked

Off the List: Aaron Judge (injury), Kris Bryant

A lot of the movement this week is primarily due to the oblique injury suffered by Aaron Judge this past week. Pete Alonso continues to move his way up this list as the Mets are looking smarter by the day for their decision to have him break camp with the big club, as he undoubtedly should have. While his AVG may be due for some negative regression, there is no question his power is going to play all year long and for many years to come. The dude mashes.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Franmil Reyes SD OF Unranked
2 Hunter Dozier KC 1B/3B +5
3 Jay Bruce SEA OF -2
4 Mitch Moreland BOS 1B
5 Christian Walker ARZ 1B +3
6 Randal Grichuk TOR OF -1
7 Max Kepler MIN OF -1
8 Asdrubal Cabrera TEX 2B/3B/SS Unranked
9 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B Unranked
10 Yandy Diaz TB 1B/3B -1

Off the List: Daniel Vogelbach (ownership), Clint Frazier (injury), Hunter Renfroe

Franmil Reyes was a popular name heading into the season among fantasy baseball circles but was then all but forgotten after a horrible start to the year. Playing time was an issue for the power hitting outfielder but it appears he is sticking around now. Reyes has the pop to be a nice addition and could carry you any single week in head-to-head formats when he is hot.

 

Runs Batted In (RBI)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Khris Davis OAK OF
2 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
3 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
4 Christian Yelich MIL OF
5 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF +1
6 Edwin Encarnacion SEA 1B -1
7 Bryce Harper PHI OF
8 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B/OF
9 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
10 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B +1
11 Nelson Cruz MIN UT -1
12 Juan Soto WSH OF
13 Manny Machado SD 3B/SS
14 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B +1
15 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B +1
16 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF +2
17 Marcell Ozuna STL OF +4
18 Trevor Story COL SS -1
19 Mike Trout LAA OF -1
20 Javier Baez CHC 2B/3B/SS -1
21 Joey Gallo TEX 1B/OF Unranked
22 Pete Alonso NYM 1B +1
23 Alex Bregman HOU 3B/SS
24 Mookie Betts BOS OF
25 Domingo Santana SEA OF

Off the List: Aaron Judge (injury)

Joey Gallo is off to a notable start in the AVG department. We all know that won’t last, but Gallo should have no problem exceeding 90 RBI as he did in 2018. He has barreled up the ball so well that if he falls to a .230-.240 AVG, it will do wonders for his fantasy value.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Josh Bell PIT 1B +1
2 Jay Bruce SEA 1B/OF -1
3 Mitch Moreland BOS 1B +1
4 Justin Smoak TOR 1B +1
5 Ketel Marte ARZ 2B/SS/OF Unranked
6 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B Unranked
7 Dansby Swanson ATL SS +1
8 Chad Pinder OAK 2B/3B/OF +1
9 Randal Grichuk TOR OF -2
10 Jorge Soler KC OF

Off the List: Daniel Vogelbach (ownership), Hunter Renfroe

Ketel Marte is finally healthy, is getting an opportunity in the D-Backs’ lineup, and is making the most of it. He seems to have a nose for driving in runs batting around the middle of the lineup and should hold value all year, especially when you consider his speed.

 

Stolen Bases (SB)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Whit Merrifield KC 1B/2B/OF
2 Mallex Smith SEA OF
3 Adalberto Mondesi KC 2B/SS
4 Dee Gordon SEA 2B/SS/OF
5 Tim Anderson CHW SS +2
6 Billy Hamilton KC OF +2
7 Jonathan Villar BAL SS -2
8 Victor Robles WSH OF +2
9 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF
10 Starling Marte PIT OF -2
11 Tommy Pham TB OF
12 Jose Ramirez CLE 2B/3B +3
13 Mike Trout LAA OF
14 Jose Altuve HOU 2B -2
15 Byron Buxton MIN OF +1
16 Mookie Betts BOS OF -2
17 Delino DeShields TEX OF +2
18 Trevor Story COL SS +3
19 Elvis Andrus TEX SS -2
20 Jean Segura PHI SS -2
21 Christian Yelich MIL OF -1
22 Fernando Tatis Jr. SD SS Unranked
23 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
24 Javier Baez CHC 2B/3B/SS
25 Ender Inciarte ATL OF -2

Off the List: Ronald Acuna Jr.

With their fair share of injuries, the Nationals have moved Victor Robles into the two hole in their lineup. He earned that promotion in the order after hitting well at the bottom of the order most of the year. The Nationals will eventually get healthy and Robles will likely be pushed back down, I am hoping they keep him towards the top.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Delino DeShields TEX OF
2 Leury Garcia CHW OF
3 Kevin Kiermaier TB OF
4 Brett Gardner NYY OF
5 Jarrod Dyson ARZ OF
6 Kevin Pillar SF OF
7 Dwight Smith Jr. BAL OF +3
8 David Fletcher LAA 2B/3B -1
9 Garrett Hampson COL 2B/SS
10 Adam Frazier PIT 2B/OF -2

Off the List: None

Not much in terms of changes. Quality steals are pretty scarce and if you need them it is probably going to have to be via trade.

 

On-Base Percentage (OBP)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Mike Trout LAA OF
2 Bryce Harper PHI OF
3 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B +1
4 Joey Votto CIN 1B -1
5 Alex Bregman HOU 3B/SS +1
6 Jose Altuve HOU 2B +1
7 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B +2
8 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
9 Christian Yelich MIL OF +1
10 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF +1
11 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF +3
12 Mookie Betts BOS BOS
13 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
14 Juan Soto WSH OF +1
15 Andrew McCutchen PHI OF +1
16 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B/OF +2
17 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF
18 Nolan Arenado COL 3B +2
19 Tommy Pham TB OF +5
20 Matt Carpenter STL 1B -1
21 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF
22 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B
23 Carlos Santana CLE 1B/3B Unranked
24 Michael Conforto NYM OF +1
25 Edwin Encarnacion SEA 1B -2

Off the List: Aaron Judge (injury)

With his vision issues out of sight, Tommy Pham is certainly putting those shiny new peepers to good use and is currently sporting a .400+ OBP. Pham is a multi-category contributor in fantasy and far more valuable in OBP leagues. Somehow, he continues to be somewhat underrated.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF +2
2 Brett Gardner NYY OF
3 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B/OF +5
4 Ben Zobrist CHC 2B/OF -3
5 Nick Markakis ATL OF
6 Josh Bell PIT 1B
7 Jorge Polanco MIN SS Unranked
8 Hunter Dozier KC 1B/3B Unranked
9 Dansby Swanson ATL SS
10 Niko Goodrum DET 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF

Off the List: Joc Pederson (ownership), Yonder Alonso

Brett Gardner remains a staple on this list. He has always been a great source of OBP, and will also chip in his fair share of runs and stolen bases.  The fact that he is still roughly 70% available with all the injuries to the Yankees starting nine is odd.

 

Wins (W)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Max Scherzer WSH SP
2 Justin Verlander HOU SP
3 Trevor Bauer CLE SP +2
4 Blake Snell TB SP
5 Corey Kluber CLE SP -2
6 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
7 Aaron Nola PHI SP +1
8 Gerrit Cole HOU SP +1
9 Patrick Corbin WSH SP +2
10 James Paxton NYY SP +2
11 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP -4
12 Chris Sale BOS SP -2
13 Jose Berrios MIN SP +1
14 Zack Greinke ARZ SP +2
15 German Marquez COL SP
16 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP -3
17 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP +1
18 Jameson Taillon PIT SP -1
19 Luis Castillo CIN SP +3
20 Walker Buehler LAD SP +1
21 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP -1
22 Tyler Glasnow TB SP/RP +3
23 Charlie Morton TB SP
24 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
25 Marco Gonzales SEA SP Unranked

Off the List: Kyle Freeland

I finally caved and put Marco Gonzales on the list. As I am writing this, he still leads the league in wins, so I feel like he needs to be acknowledged until further notice. I could very well see Gonzales joining the likes of Rick Porcello, Jason Vargas, and Chris Tillman in recent years, or guys who seemingly do not fit in among league leaders in victories come season’s end. Although, Gonzales is far more talented pitcher than any of those three.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Frankie Montas OAK SP +1
2 Mike Minor TEX SP -1
3 Yonny Chirinos TB SP/RP +4
4 Brett Anderson OAK SP +1
5 Zach Eflin PHI SP -1
6 Jordan Lyles PIT SP Unranked
7 Mike Leake SEA SP Unranked
8 Jeff Samardzija SF SP Unranked
9 Dereck Rodriguez SF SP Unranked
10 Zach Davies MIL SP Unranked

Off the List: Max Fried (ownership), Marcus Stroman (ownership), Domingo German (ownership), Ryan Yarbrough, Jhoulys Chacin

Yonny Chirinos has somewhat taken on and run with Ryan Yarbrough‘s role from a year ago. Whether it is starting or taking on the bulk of the innings after an opener, Chirinos has a very good chance at racking up some victories.

 

Earned Run Average (ERA)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
2 Max Scherzer WSH SP
3 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
4 Blake Snell TB SP
5 Justin Verlander HOU SP
6 Chris Sale BOS SP
7 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
8 Corey Kluber CLE SP
9 Aaron Nola PHI SP
10 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP
11 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
12 Patrick Corbin WSH SP
13 Jose Berrios MIN SP +1
14 James Paxton NYY SP +1
15 Jameson Taillon PIT SP -2
16 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
17 Charlie Morton TB SP +1
18 German Marquez COL SP +1
19 Luis Castillo CIN SP +2
20 Walker Buehler LAD SP -3
21 Kyle Hendricks CHC SP -1
22 Shane Bieber CLE SP
23 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
24 Tyler Glasnow TB SP/RP
25 Zack Greinke ARZ SP Unranked

Off the List: Madison Bumgarner

I just cannot get enough of Luis Castillo. He is every bit of the ace we were hoping for a year ago. I am all in, buying  anywhere I can.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Trevor Williams PIT SP
2 Mike Minor TEX SP +3
3 Frankie Montas OAK SP +7
4 Caleb Smith MIA SP Unranked
5 Sonny Gray CIN SP/RP +2
6 Jeff Samardzija SF SP
7 Brad Keller KC SP/RP -4
8 Aaron Sanchez TOR SP Unranked
9 Trevor Richards MIA SP -1
10 Merrill Kelly ARZ SP -1

Off the List: Marcus Stroman (ownership), Max Fried (ownership)

The new splitter that Frankie Montas has introduced this year has been the difference maker. Montas already pumps into the upper 90’s, but now this splitter that falls off the table to hitters has them all sorts of fooled. We could be looking at a breakout.

 

Strikeouts (K)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Max Scherzer WSH SP
2 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
3 Justin Verlander HOU SP
4 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
5 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
6 Blake Snell TB SP
7 James Paxton NYY SP
8 Chris Sale BOS SP
9 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
10 Corey Kluber CLE SP
11 Patrick Corbin WSH SP +1
12 German Marquez COL SP +1
13 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP -2
14 Jose Berrios MIN SP
15 Charlie Morton TB SP
16 Aaron Nola PHI SP
17 Robbie Ray ARZ SP +1
18 Walker Buehler LAD SP -1
19 Chris Archer PIT SP +2
20 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
21 Jack Flaherty STL SP -2
22 Luis Castillo CIN SP
23 Zack Greinke ARZ SP
24 Matthew Boyd DET SP
25 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP

Off the List: None

I was vehement that Chris Archer was personae non gratae coming into this year, but he is doing his best to make me reconsider. His slider usage is down and his fastball usage is up, which, when looking back, was the formula to his 2015 success. It is surprising to witness this consider his fastball was horrid the past couple years.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Caleb Smith MIA SP +2
2 Derek Holland SF SP
3 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP/RP -2
4 Jakob Junis KC SP
5 Spencer Turnbull DET SP +1
6 Luke Weaver ARZ SP/RP +2
7 Pablo Lopez MIA SP Unranked
8 Vince Velasquez PHI SP Unranked
9 Reynaldo Lopez CHW SP Unranked
10 Dylan Bundy BAL SP

Off the List: Carlos Rodon (ownership), Domingo German (ownership), Lucas Giolito

Vince Velasquez might finally be figuring it out. His velocity is up a tick and he is throwing his fastball more often with good command. It feels like a lifetime ago when he struck out 16 Padres and everyone wanted their share of him. Here’s to hoping he has finally turned the corner.

 

Saves (SV)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Edwin Diaz NYM RP
2 Blake Treinen OAK RP
3 Kenley Jansen LAD RP
4 Roberto Osuna HOU RP +1
5 Brad Hand CLE RP +1
6 Aroldis Chapman NYY RP -2
7 Kirby Yates SD RP +1
8 Felipe Vazquez PIT RP -1
9 Sean Doolittle WSH RP +1
10 Ken Giles TOR RP +1
11 Jordan Hicks STL RP +2
12 Josh Hader MIL RP
13 Jose Leclerc TEX RP -4
14 Wade Davis COL RP -1
15 Greg Holland ARZ RP
16 A.J. Minter ATL RP
17 Shane Greene DET RP +3
18 Ryan Brasier BOS RP Unranked
19 Raisel Iglesias CIN RP +3
20 Will Smith SF RP +1
21 Alex Colome CHW RP -4
22 Jose Alvarado TB RP -4
23 Pedro Strop CHC RP +1
24 Hector Neris PHI RP Unranked
25 Blake Parker MIN RP -2

Off the List: Cody Allen, Anthony Swarzak

Ryan Brasier appears to have a stronghold on the Red Sox closer role. Their bullpen, like the team itself, has been a mess. Brasier, however, is still worthy of a roster spot as its likely Boston turns it around very soon.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-Team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 A.J. Minter ATL RP
2 Pedro Strop CHC RP Unranked
3 Hector Neris PHI RP +3
4 Blake Parker MIN RP -2
5 Sergio Romo MIA SP/RP +4
6 Anthony Swarzak SEA RP -3
7 Roenis Elias SEA SP/RP Unranked
8 Jeremy Jeffress MIL RP -3
9 Mychal Givens BAL RP -1
10 Brandon Morrow CHC RP -3

Off the List: Ryan Brasier (ownership), Richard Lovelady

With the news of Brandon Morrow being shut down from throwing for the next couple weeks, Pedro Strop needs to universally owned.

 

WHIP (Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Max Scherzer WSH SP
2 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
3 Blake Snell TB SP
4 Justin Verlander HOU SP
5 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
6 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
7 Chris Sale BOS SP
8 Corey Kluber CLE SP
9 Aaron Nola PHI SP
10 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
11 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
12 James Paxton NYY SP
13 Jose Berrios MIN SP
14 Patrick Corbin WSH SP
15 Zack Greinke ARZ SP +1
16 Jameson Taillon PIT SP -1
17 German Marquez COL SP
18 Luis Castillo CIN SP +1
19 Charlie Morton TB SP +1
20 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP -2
21 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP
22 Kyle Hendricks CHC SP
23 Shane Bieber CLE SP
24 David Price BOS SP
25 Madison Bumgarner SF SP

Off the List: None

Zack Greinke has turned his season back around from an opening day implosion. His numbers are back to being much more Greinke-like, and he is doing a superb job at limiting base runners. While his velocity is pretty poor, he is too good of a pitcher to be anything less than steady.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Trevor Williams PIT SP
2 Mike Minor TEX SP
3 Yonny Chirinos TB SP/RP +2
4 Caleb Smith MIA SP Unranked
5 Sonny Gray CIN SP/RP
6 Frankie Montas OAK SP +1
7 Jeff Samardzija SF SP -4
8 Wade Miley HOU SP Unranked
9 Brad Keller KC SP -1
10 Steven Matz NYM SP Unranked

Off the List: Domingo German (ownership), Max Fried (ownership), Zach Eflin

Caleb Smith, like his slider, has been absolute money. While the slide piece hasn’t been as effective as it was in 2018, Smith certainly has been sensational. He has all the tools to become a very solid fantasy starter.

 

Quality Starts (QS)

 

Top 25

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Max Scherzer WSH SP
2 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
3 Justin Verlander HOU SP
4 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
5 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
6 Corey Kluber CLE SP
7 Aaron Nola PHI SP
8 Blake Snell TB SP +1
9 Chris Sale BOS SP -1
10 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP
11 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
12 Jameson Taillon PIT SP
13 Zack Greinke ARZ SP
14 Jose Berrios MIN SP
15 Patrick Corbin WSH SP
16 German Marquez COL SP
17 James Paxton NYY SP
18 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
19 Luis Castillo CIN SP
20 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
21 Charlie Morton TB SP
22 Madison Bumgarner SF SP
23 Tyler Glasnow TB SP/RP +1
24 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP -1
25 Cole Hamels CHC SP Unranked

Off the List: Kyle Freeland (injury)

Not a lot of change here. Cole Hamels cracks the list as he is a guy who you can count on to pitch enough innings to potentially gain a QS. He does however have an extraordinarily low BABIP to this point, so he is worth monitoring, but so far he has been very good based on his 3.44 xFIP.

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Trevor Williams PIT SP
2 Mike Minor TEX SP +1
3 Mike Leake SEA SP +2
4 Frankie Montas OAK SP +3
5 Caleb Smith MIA SP Unranked
6 Steven Matz NYM SP +2
7 Merrill Kelly ARZ SP Unranked
8 Trevor Richards MIA SP -4
9 Brett Anderson OAK SP
10 Brad Keller KC SP/RP

Off the List: Marcus Stroman (ownership), Max Fried (ownership)

It really comes down to matchups when looking for quality starts. A lot of guys widely available are all matchup-dependent. Although, Trevor Williams sure is moving his way into that must-start category.

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Colin Ward

Colin currently resides in the Buffalo, NY area and studied at SUNY Fredonia earning a degree in Sport Management. He is a former Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at the collegiate level. Baseball is his passion and he bleeds Pinstripes.

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